Košice June 21st, 2014
The Award Ceremony in Kasarne Kulturpark, held on Saturday 21 June, marked the end of the jubilee 20th edition of the International Festival of Local Televisions Golden Beggar. The Jury, counting seven members and presided over by Ed Baumeister (US), selected winners from 240 competition entries reflecting lives of ordinary yet unique people and their individual problems which are, though, characteristic for the entire world; or contributing to the advancement of audiovisual trends. This year’s motto was inspired by the novella “Ordinary Life” by Karel Čapek, in which he shows that each life is remarkable and unique. Golden Beggar for the best local television programme was awarded to the Polish/Belsat coproduction documentary “Sower” for the poetic portrayal of the old-world life cycle in the Polish-Belarusian countryside using the ripening of harvest as a metaphor. Golden Beggar statue for the best production company programme went to Spain and the film entitled “La Parada” for the succinctly plausible way in which it grasps the infirmity of the unemployed looking at the employed public. In the Young Author category, the Golden Beggar award went to the Belgian movie “Electric Indigo” for the originality and submersion, with which its authors approached the theme of a daughter of a gay couple who was born of a surrogate mother. Two Slovak programmes were also awarded in the competition. Slovak Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission prize was awarded to the film by a young director Matej Ligač from the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica entitled “Sledge Hockey” for the portrayal of the story of Martin Joppa, a national team member representing Slovakia in this paralympic sport. One of the six Honourable Mentions of the Jury went to the story of a young couple and their handling of the fact that they will soon have a baby “I and Lucia” by Peter Komár, also from the Academy of Arts. One of the Jury members, director Andrey Kutsyla from Belarus, noticed that a majority of programmes entering the competition were those of young authors. As Kutsyla has noted “We were all in agreement regarding the winning film Electric Indigo, all of the Jury members chose it, which is not at all common. It really is a grippingly made film.”
Twenty years is a remarkable period of time. The long-standing chairman of the Jury, Ed Baumeister, knows it more than well. How would he sum all those years up? “At the beginning, programmes were very animated when it comes to their contents, yet, from today’s perspective, technically they were not advanced. However, in the course of all these years, since filmmakers steal each other’s ideas – sharing of ideas has always been a noble media tradition – all the programmes have become more sophisticated, more effective and even more fun in their ambition to appeal their target audience. The fact that filming and editing equipment has become cheaper and, thus, more accessible, has increased the quality, which can be seen in the fact we now have more refined productions made by talented young authors. Eva Dekanovská has managed to keep the Festival alive even despite the lack of funding. She has created a community; she gave life to a family of authors. And once, when the history of media development in Europe is written, this Festival will hold a place of honour in this history”.